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Agenda item

The Groves Area Experimental Traffic Regulation Order

The Executive Member will consider this report which seeks Approval in Principle to undertake detailed preparatory work and implement a set of measures on an experimental basis aimed at trialling the removal of through traffic from The Groves area to improve the environment for local residents.

 

Decision:

Resolved:

(i)           That a firm set of designs be drawn up to achieve road closure Layout Option 1 shown in Annex C put forward by the consultants.

Reason:     to confirm the ability / practicality to take these                             measures forward

(ii)         Approval in Principle for the implementation of an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in line with Layout Option 1 be granted subject to the outcome of detailed design, with approval of the detail of the implementation delegated to the Assistant Director Transport, Highways and Environment after consultation with the Executive Member and Ward Members.

Reason:     Because although the modelling indicates the impact on the surrounding road network is potentially acceptable there is the possibility that actual driver behaviour will have a greater impact than anticipated not only on the immediate road network but also on the local residents the scheme is designed to benefit.

(iii)        That an Experimental TRO be implemented to merge the existing Residents parking zones in the area when the road closures are taken forward.

Reason:     Because the proposed changes to the vehicle routes in the area do not fit with the existing residents parking zone boundaries and this will likely have an impact on how and where residents choose to park.

(iv)        That the Experimental TRO does not commence until the planned roadworks have been completed in the Lord Mayor’s Walk area.

Reason:     Because the experiment needs to be conducted at a time when road and traffic conditions are not impacted by temporary circumstances.

(v)         That authority be delegated to the Assistant Director Transport, Highways and Environment in consultation with the Executive Member for Transport and Ward Members to approve any amendment to the Experimental TRO considered desirable during the course of the experiment, including suspension or ending of the Experimental TRO.

Reason:     Because this allows the greatest level of flexibility to respond to unexpected issues in a timely manner.

Minutes:

The Executive Member received the report which sought Approval in Principle to undertake detailed preparatory work and implement a set of measures on an experimental basis aimed at trialling the removal of through traffic from The Groves area.  The significant level of through traffic had been identified as having an adverse effect on the local community in the feedback arising from consultation and surveys undertaken for the Groves Regeneration Project.

 

The options available were:

 

1.   Option 1 – Note the outcome of the consultations but take no action at present. Not a recommended option.

2.   Option 2 – Approve further work be carried out to determine the practicality of proposals to implement Layout Option 1. This will include Road closures, changes to the permitted movements and changes to waiting restrictions which may be required to provide space for the revised vehicle movements. Is a recommended option.

3.   Option 3 – Approve further work be carried out to determine the practicality of proposals to implement Layout Option 2. This will include Road closures and changes to the permitted movements, changes to the waiting restrictions. Not a recommended option.

4.   Option 4 – depending on options 2 and 3 above approve the taking forward of a permanent TRO proposal.  Not a recommended option.

5.   Option 5 - depending on options 2 and 3 above, approve the introduction of an Experimental TRO after works on the local road network have been completed - currently programmed for April 2020. Is a recommended option.

6.   Option 6 –depending on option 4 or 5 above approve the taking forward of a permanent TRO or an Experimental TRO to merge the existing Residents Parking zones as shown in Annex D. Is a recommended option

 

Representations were heard from the following registered speakers on the issues mentioned below:

 

Mr Roger Pierce, local resident and former Councillor spoke on behalf of Professor Tony May who was Chair of the Civic Trust Transport Group, who was in support of the removal of through traffic from the Groves area to be in the public interest. 

 

Mr James Euesden, a resident of Penley’s Grove Street, spoke in support of the removal of through traffic from The Groves area. 

He considered that there was currently a high volume of traffic and a number of problems associated with that, particularly as there were two schools in the area.  He reported that the 20mph speed restriction was often exceeded. There had been two occasions where there were sink holes and road works which had forced traffic to slow, during which time, it had been a lot more pleasant and safer for residents. 

 

Mr Ed Lott and Ms Marilyn Rowe, local residents, also spoke in support of the recommendations made in the officer’s report.  They reported that the weight and speed restrictions in the area were frequently ignored.  The road is used as a cut-through to Lowther Street.  They considered it to be difficult and often dangerous for families to walk through area which had a negative impact on the local community.

 

Janice Gray, local resident, spoke against the recommended options.  She noted that there was a regeneration project to put student accommodation in the area.  She considered that the removal of through traffic from The Groves area would result in more traffic backing up from Haxby and Clarance Street.  She considered that housing projects also contributed to backed up roads and that the Council were preventing cars going into York. 

 

Lorna Shrubb, local resident, spoke not entirely objecting to the  recommended options.  She considered that the consultation area should be wider to include all in the Groves area, Earls and Neville Street in particular.

 

Gwen Swinburn, local resident, spoke in support of the recommended options.  She expressed concern that only two options had been offered for consideration and requested that the consultant’s report be published in full.  She considered that there was no rationale in joining R10 and R7 to create a huge parking zone R25.  

 

Ann Stacy, local resident, spoke in her capacity as Chair of the Groves Association.  She considered that the recommended options would benefit everyone.  That the consultation had not gone wide enough to the surrounding area.  Most of the traffic cutting through this area was not local traffic. 

 

Andrew Kennedy, local resident of St John’s Street in the Groves was disappointed that there had not been any consultation to the wider Groves area.   

    

Cllr Denise Craghill,  Ward Member Guildhall, welcomed the recommended options, as the constant stream of traffic impacts on the environment and on a healthy active and safe community. Was pleased that this was an experimental order.

 

Andrew Shrimpton spoke on behalf of the York Cycle Campaign 

In support the traffic restriction order in the Groves which he considered to be the worst rat-run in the city.

 

The Executive Member for Transport, in his consideration of this item wanted to assure residents that they would not be prevented from accessing their homes or local shops by car.

 

In response to questions and comments raised from the above registered speakers and from the Executive Member, the Transport Planning Manager explained that ‘diagonal closes’ would be an option to allow residents to drive out of the area.  The Council would consult with residents in the next six months to consider the overall picture.  This would then be reviewed at this Decision Session. 

 

The Executive Member clarified that the matter of resident parking at R10 and R7 was still under consultation and consideration.  One of those areas was closer to the city than the other, he wished to avoid a situation where those residents in the Grove were given a permit to also park closer to the city.

 

Resolved:

(i)           That a firm set of designs be drawn up to achieve road closure Layout Option 1 shown in Annex C put forward by the consultants.

Reason:     to confirm the ability / practicality to take these                             measures forward

(ii)         Approval in Principle for the implementation of an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in line with Layout Option 1 be granted subject to the outcome of detailed design, with approval of the detail of the implementation delegated to the Assistant Director Transport, Highways and Environment after consultation with the Executive Member and Ward Members.

Reason:     Because although the modelling indicates the impact on the surrounding road network is potentially acceptable there is the possibility that actual driver behaviour will have a greater impact than anticipated not only on the immediate road network but also on the local residents the scheme is designed to benefit.

(iii)        That an Experimental TRO be implemented to merge some or all of the existing Residents parking zones in the area, following consultation, when the road closures are taken forward.

Reason:     Because the proposed changes to the vehicle routes in the area do not fit with the existing residents parking zone boundaries and this will likely have an impact on how and where residents choose to park.

(iv)        That the Experimental TRO does not commence until the planned roadworks have been completed in the Lord Mayor’s Walk area.

Reason:     Because the experiment needs to be conducted at a time when road and traffic conditions are not impacted by temporary circumstances.

(v)         That authority be delegated to the Assistant Director Transport, Highways and Environment in consultation with the Executive Member for Transport and Ward Members to approve any amendment to the Experimental TRO considered desirable during the course of the experiment, including suspension or ending of the Experimental TRO.

Reason:     Because this allows the greatest level of flexibility to respond to unexpected issues in a timely manner.

Supporting documents:

 

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